Organic Program

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by rkeguy, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. rkeguy

    rkeguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    This year I will be doing an organic program on my personal lawn just to the front yard to gain more knowledge about fertilizer programs. This will be my third year as a mow and go operation, but I hope to gain the ability to offer more services in the upcoming years.

    I have no knowledge of what my lawn has had done in the past since we just purchased the house Sept 2012. What I was going to do is rent core aerator last week of March and aerate yard. Purchase aged cow/horse manure compost and top dress the yard. Wait a week or two then once the manure is watered into the yard spread a protein base fertilizer (corn meal, soy meal, cottonseed meal, etc.). Not sure which one, but from research will be doing whichever is cheaper.

    If front yard does well then I will proceed to do the same to the rear yard in the fall. Is there anything I am overlooking or could do more efficiently?
    I like an organic program since it seems to almost eliminate the chances of damaging lawns like synthetics fertilizers.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    Consider corn gluten meal, as it should reduce crabgrass, and feed the lawn at the same time.
    Plan to pull weeds often, and possibly plan to find an organic weed control product, like Fiesta.
    Barry at Phasthound can help you with a soil test and advise you as to how much lime might be needed. Perhaps he has an organic fert that would suit your soil type better.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160

    I would not recommend using composted manures unless you have a thorough understanding of how to determined if it is truly "finished". It should also be tested for E coli. Find a good source of composted yard waste instead.

    Aerate, top-dress and seed. I doubt you'll need to add a meal based fertilizer until the fall. Your biggest battle will be weed control.
  4. rkeguy

    rkeguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    I was going to purchase the manure from a mulching company. Should I get the bagged manure or bagged top dressing from the big box stores? When I core aerate I was going to gather plugs and the local agr. college will test soil. I was also going to seed after top dressing to fill in bare spots. I guess finding a good compost top dressing may be the difficult part.
  5. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Good organic compost material shouldn't be too hard to find.

    You should look at your local trash/recycle collecting company. If they pick up yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, branches, and those brown paper bags) then they will most likely make organic compost waste.

    Then all you have to do, is contact your local trash/recycle company and they will tell you where you will need to go to pick up their organic compost.

    You will need containers and maybe a shovel.....unless you have a dump trailer. If you have a dump trailer or empty truck bed....then they will use an end-loader and dump it in usually free.

    The trash/recycle company should also get their compost checked at least once a year, because you want to make sure there is nothing toxic/bad going into your yard or any future customer's yards.

    The trash/recycle company should be able to send you copy of their soil test. And then, you can use their soil test to show your customer's that the organic compost is good and safe for their yards.

    Our local waste management company starts selling organic compost in March. They usually have a few storage buildings full with organic compost, until they can start collecting yard waste bags.....then they start their process all over.

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